Thoughts on Pricing of class approved Sails.

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by Atlas, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. Atlas

    Atlas New Member

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    Thoughts on Pricing of class approved Sails.

    This topic is starting to become a loud talking point around all levels of lasers sailors. At a meeting at our club, this topic was almost shut down straight away from people not wanting to even think about using a generic sail or illegal sail for simple club racing only.

    Our reason for wanting to do this is to keep our expensive Class approved sails for offical races etc and use our less expensive sails on normal club days.
    Alot of people are against this.

    While I'm not on a mission to upset people, I would like to know some answers. Current Australian Prices for Class approved laser sails are $1025 and $850 respectively. Our U.S friends get theres alot cheaper Taxes aside. Now there's a generic option availbe which is not class approved but is very afforable.

    It makes you wonder how much cost is in a sail really.

    We are now at the point were Laser sails are becoming very expensive in a time when I personaly believe sailing is generally at a low point especially with the youth. Less poeple are learning to sail, clubs are shutting down.

    I also believe we are preventing poeple from enjoying the sport. Having good equipment or a higher standard of equipment is out of reach.

    While I don't want to degrade the class or change it in anyway, other options need to be looked at to keep the class strong in the future.

    I understand that a proportion of the price of the offical laser sails sold goes to the ILCA, but no one can tell me how much and what its doing.....

    I know it makes people angry to want to change the laser, all I want is a cheaper option to help out the batlers, and maybe get some of the older boats back on the water and put some life into them.

    Yes you can always put a good second hand sail on an old boat, but new Generics are still cheaper.

    Peoples thoughts please, maybe if we all asked questions, things might happen.
     
  2. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    "While I'm not on a mission to upset people, I would like to know some answers. Current Australian Prices for Class approved laser sails are $1025 and $850 respectively. Our U.S friends get theres alot cheaper Taxes aside. Now there's a generic option availbe which is not class approved but is very afforable."

    that doesent sound right....
    An AUS sail in the US would cost $ 851.21 and $705.88.
    Here a North goes for $530, and Hyde fro $620, from APS, prices went up.....

    and I dont know about AUS/NZL, but it seems to me that club particpation is steady, but at times it does go in cycles, families have kids, or a washer and dryer break so you gotta take it easy, that kinda stuff, I havent been racing because of my wrist, but I will be back out there


    but I fully agree with you, these shitty sails cost waaaaay to much, and certinly arent helping the class, 350 American sounds right or the quality of the cloth, and the length that they last
     
  3. Atlas

    Atlas New Member

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    Thoses prices are corect and you can check them on our local Australian Laser shop Web sites which will confirm that.
    We are well aware of the US prices and the current exchange rate as well...

    At least you can see what we have here.
     
  4. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    ooooh right on, I just threw it into a currency converter, and thats what I dont
     
  5. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    Using a generic sail at the club level seems to me to be a discussion that should be left at the club level. If you are wanting to know what other clubs are doing, that's a different story. The half dozen most participating Laser sailors in my fleet asked me what I thought (as fleet captain). Things are pretty laid back at my club. I thought generic was fine, because we already had a bunch of them from previous years from the instructional program floating around. Whats the diff--Intensity or some other no name? I don't want to keep people from sailing, especially in MY fleet! It ended up that 3 people bought Intensity sails, but those same 3 bought new Norths too. With the Intensity they can conserve their investment in the class legal sails. BTW, I bought an Intensity Radial and have sailed with it a couple of times. At my level of sailing (low), I can't tell any difference.
     
  6. Josef

    Josef New Member

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    I only know of the intensity sails (and the prize of those), as a sailmaker I can say that the prize of those sails are as low as it gets. I even have a hard time to understand how they make enough from selling those sails.
    I guess it's possible if you make large volumes and cut the costs as much as possible though.
    I figure the $200 an Intensity sail costs is a quite reasonable pize for a laser sail though, considering the huge volumes etc.

    To sum things up, I have no clue how a lasersail can cost more than $400 =P
     
  7. Atlas

    Atlas New Member

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    Thats the very point we are trying to push. I will buy an Intensity sail for all other sailing and inport a US Laser approved sail for Offical events . If Anything I would just like to see the prices dropped to a level affordable by all, and or an explanation of costs.
     
  8. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    yea, we need to have it explained to us why they are so bloody expensive


    and here in the US the price just went up, why on earth did that happen??
     
  9. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    They just raised prices a little bit this year, so the market demand must be good enough that they don't feel the need to explain anything. It is a business. I don't understand why you think you will get an explanation or have any say in the pricing. Yeah, that would be nice if it happened, but it just seems like wishful thinking.
     
  10. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    the Laser has always been "the people's boat" we sould know why things are so bloody expensive

    hell, a centerboard is 450!, thats insane!
     
  11. TheBoathouse

    TheBoathouse New Member

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    Sh@* and gas is $3.00 a gallon....
     
  12. Ross B

    Ross B Guest

    call yourself lucky Boathouse, I saw it for 3.42 in Carlsbad near SD the other day, and its 3.37 right by my house, every 2 weeks.....
     
  13. Atlas

    Atlas New Member

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  14. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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  15. tomsinamerica

    tomsinamerica New Member

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    You get my full sympathy with this one but I don't think it will change. I'm confident that the surcharge we pay on class approved sails doesn't go to pay for some individual's luxury yacht. If it goes back into the ILCA fund then I don't mind. Well funded classes have good regattas and C R A Z Y resale values.

    I don't think that allowing numerous makers to manufacture our sails will actually drive prices down, I think it may have the opposite effect without the contributions to the class. One maker will always be seen as superior and people will be prepared to pay a premium for that sail. Then people will perceive that they cannot be competitive unless they pay for the expensive sail. (Look at an Opti price list!)

    The way we've overcome this at a local level is to allow generics at club racing and preserve ILCA approved for out of town regattas. That way you can extend the life of the class sail many times over.

    The country price argument is invalid. I'm a brit living in america and price differentials on all products are just amazing. For example, here, a new boat is $5,500, over in England, it's over $8,000? Go figure. It's not just boats though, laptops, bikes, food etc. I'm no economist but you can't compare apples with pears!? You could always call APS and have them ship one internationally although you'll have to pay import duty etc.

    I'm going to revert to my original argument regarding the sail price. I don't think it's the price of our sails detracting from the sport of sailing, I think the Laser actually makes enormous contributions encouraging people to sail. I coach the junior team at my club, the only boat parents want to buy for their children is a Laser, whether it be 4.7, radial, full rig. This is simply driven by the resale value which to this day astounds me. That value is driven by the strength of the class on both a local and global scale. One of the reasons for that strength is the well funded class association.

    To summarize, push your club at a local level to allow you to use generics. Covet your class sail, wrap it in cotton wool and reserve it a seat on the couch during the week when it's not in use...

    T
     
  16. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    If we all use an intensity for practice/club level and are able to extend the life of our class sails by 1-2 years that will drop the demand/reorders the class sail makers see and they will have to drop prices to generate sales.

    Supply and demand folks. Let's stand together give Intensity some business and let North and Hyde sit on some inventory for a while.
     
  17. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

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    North and Hyde are nothing but contract suppliers for the class approved builders. They won't have much inventory in house.

    It would be the builders (who also determine the price you and I pay for sails and all the other class approved stuff) that would be sitting on the inventory. But since the sail doesn't change year to year, they will just scale back their purchases for the next buying period until inventory levels go back to where they want them.

    Now, I'm guessing the owners of the class approved builders are in this to turn a profit :rolleyes: and since they have a monopoly on hulls, spars, blades, sails, etc.. and they see their bottom line shrinking because we aren't buying as many sails, do you think prices are going to go up... :eek:
     
  18. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    It depends on how they run their business. Sell less, but make more on each sail or increase revenue and sell more, but make less on each sail. There is a balance. If you are used to selling 800 sails a year at 60% margin and then your sales drop to 500 sails a year at 60% margin you have made a lot less money on your bottom line. However, if you offset the demand decrease by dropping your price to 40% margin and see a sales bost to 1,000 units a year that's better than 500 sails at 60% margin.

    The sails are the "razor blades or toner cartridges" to this product. Let's band together for a price reduction.

    Can you imagine the rush of orders Vanguard would see if they dropped the sail price by just $100.00? $125.00?

    SAVE YOUR CLASS SAIL. DO NOT BUY A NEW CLASS SAIL THIS YEAR. BUY AN INTENSITY AND USE IT AT ALL NON-CLASS APPROVED EVENTS.

    If the class sail market drops only to the olympic campaigners for re-orders I guarantee we'll see a price reduction by Q3 of this year and at least by the first of 2008.

    Spread the word. If we stand together we can drive change.
     
  19. TheBoathouse

    TheBoathouse New Member

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    OR...they will raise the price to make up for the lost revenue. Realistically how many Laser sails do you think are sold per year? We are not talking Sony Playstations here. Do really really think there would be any effect whatsever if the volume was even cut in half? And under your marxist scenerio what do you think will happen to the price of Intensity sails? I think you should start hording Intensity sails because when they go out of business in say 1-2 years at least you will have some stashed away....
     
  20. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Your product does not sell so you reaise the price? You run a business is that what you do? In all retail goods that don't sell get marked down, put on the clearance rack and out the door. Product sitting on a shelf does not pay the bills. Inventory cost money. In the meantime Intensity is following the Wal-Mart philosphy. Get it out of China cheap and sell for less. Low margin, but cash flow. Better than high margin and no cash flow. Is that Marxist?? I dont' know how many class sails are sold, but it has to be more than the number of hulls they sell every year.

    I would have no problem w/the $500.00 +USD price tag if the competitive life of the dang things lasted longer than a season.
     

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